Faced with the tragedy unfolding in their country since December 2013 , some citizens of South Sudan have tried to organize and structure the civil society contribution to the peace process . In late August  , several civil society organizations applied for a permit to hold a forum at Quality Hotel in Juba on the theme “Revitalization of the Peace Process : Updates and Civil Society Perspective” . The National Security Service refused the authorization “due to security reasons”. This from the same government that two days before had asked for a review of the mandate of the recently-deployed Regional Protection Force , acccusing it of “creating havoc because it came into Juba carrying guns“. So the international force for peace could create havoc and the civil society could cause a security risk by holding a Forum on the revitalization of Peace (which was being discussed in Addis Ababa by the international community and the African Union) . To add another dash of surrealism to the situation , Information Minister Michael Makuei then declared that the South Sudan government “could hold elections in 2018 despite insecurity and fighting between government and opposition forces” . “You cannot take insecurity as an excuse for not running the election” , the Minister added . This seemed to consider that a general election in a country at war with four million refugees and even more IDPs was not a serious security risk while the meeting of a Forum of Civil Society members and the public display of weapons by a Regional Protection Force “caused havoc” and were “security risks” . After all this Alice in Wonderland talk , can the South Sudan government still be taken seriously ?

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